Group announces trout population not in danger | CraigDailyPress.com

Group announces trout population not in danger

Colorado Parks & Wildlife, one of several agencies comprising the Rangewide Rio Grande Cutthroat Conservation Team, celebrates the recent announcement from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that effectively states the danger of extinction no longer exists for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, according to a press release.

USFWS removed the Rio Grande cutthroat trout as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act after an examination of quality data gathered by the conservation team.

Parks and Wildlife researchers and biologists contributed to this outcome by restoring the species to historic habitats, maintaining a Rio Grande cutthroat broodstock, monitoring status of populations, stocking with this species, conducting genetic analysis and disease testing. Additionally CPW provided a specialized population model that predicts persistence of Rio Grande cutthroat through 2040 and beyond.

"The conservation of the Rio Grande Cutthroat has been a high priority for more than twenty years," CPW's Southwest Senior Aquatic Biologist John Alves said in a statement. "This news is a marker of success on many levels. It was multifaceted as many resources were put to work by federal, state and tribal agencies as well as conservation groups and private landowners to get this result."

The agencies started working on range-wide protection plans for the species in 2003 and had agreed recently to a an updated conservation agreement and strategy plan to protect the Rio Grande cutthroat trout in 2013.

The goal of the plan is to assure long-term viability of Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The agencies have completed numerous conservations projects for the species throughout its range in Colorado and New Mexico.